April and May turned warm and dry and we got BUSY! We wound up the project at the Little Obed
near Genesis and I-40, reconstructed a rock structure at the OWCA wetland that
was allowing the upper wetland to drain, planted like crazy on a number of
sites, and had a very successful Native Plant Sale at the end of April. We also cut a new Nature Trail at Stone
Elementary School and did our normal presentation at the Sustainability Fair. Those are just the highlights. Read more below.
and July bring lots of opportunities.
The BIG EVENT is WaterFest, bigger and better than ever on July 25th. We've got opportunities to tour our most recent project, hike along Daddy's Creek, and participate in a number of volunteer activities including our annual Stream Clean up at Devil’s Breakfast Table on July 11th.
Little Obed Project Completed!
We began in April with planting of 32 balled trees, along
with 15 balled native azaleas and blueberries.
We followed with some additional rock work on the clay steps, did some
additional seedling planting of about 200 plants, both on the top of the bank
and within the in-stream wetland, and seeded and strawed the areas that the
heavy equipment had torn up.
mid-May, the back hoe came back and worked on the final task of the project -
removing the broken concrete on TDOT’s drainage channel and installing two
energy dissipation structures to slow the water before it enters the stream
channel itself. As these were the first
structures of this type that OWCA has built, it was great to see how well these
structures turned out.
Dennis and Scott did most of the
work on these structures with the backhoe work by J & S Construction. Annell Fields, Taneesha Dutchover, Katie
Heying and Scott Collie worked with Dennis on the planting and Denise Aquista
volunteered as a planter one day. A
special thanks is due here to Veolia for lending us their “Gator” throughout
another area of invasives in March, there was a day of planting native plant
seedlings in April and another day working on large invasives along the
perimeter of the wetland. We’ll be back
next year to do more.
Planting at CMSP
We spent four days
at the beginning of April, clearing debris from Three Mile Creek and
overplanting the areas on three Mile and Byrds Creek we had worked on last
year. All the stabilization work is
looking really good! Thanks to Ila
Rozelle, Annell Fields, Taneesha Dutchover, Scott Collie and volunteer Charla
Cooper for helping with this.
Leads to Repair Project
On our visit to the
OWCA wetland in conjunction with the Frog and Toad workshop in April, we
noticed that there had been significant erosion of the outlet of the upper
wetland. The bottom had eroded behind
the dam structure and was moving upstream, lowering the water level in the
wetland and potentially recreating the original stream channel, leaving the
wetland dry. After obtaining
permission from TDEC to make the repairs, rock was brought in to build a new rock
structure designed to restore the original water level. Over three tons of stone were placed by hand
to create the structure as well as a number of loads of sandstone gravel to
fill the spaces between the larger rock.
With the help of Scott Collie and Eli Lester, Dennis was able to
construct the new grade structure in five days.
We’ll be monitoring its performance through heavy rains.
Elementary Nature Trail
Thanks to the
outreach efforts of Annell Fields, the long discussed addition of a nature
trail at Stone Elementary School took a great leap into reality in May. Dennis, Scott Collie, Taneesha Dutchover, and
volunteer Christina Burgess laid out and cleared a trail that runs to and along
one of the creeks, a tributary to the Little Obed, that runs through the school
After a couple days of clearing, Annell was able
to conduct a couple of nature enrichment sessions with three different classes
of students, introducing them to the stream, the trail, and her pet corn
snake. The second grade class also
participated in the planting of a tulip poplar tree near the parking lot of the
school. We hope to continue working with
the teachers and the school PTO to develop the trail as an educational focus
for the school.
Staff Member Angela with a Snapping Turtle in Centennial Park.
Thursday, June 11,
9:00 a.m. at
8:30 car pool from
(405 W 4th St)
Daddys Creek is a magnificent part of the Obed system and
really takes on it’s spectacular qualities as it heads past Fairfield
Glade. The Fairfield Glade trail group
has built a 2 mile trail that both provides overlooks for Daddys Creek and also
runs along the stream itself. Ron Hazel,
who is very familiar with the trail and the plants that grow along it will lead
the experience. Call Ron at 210-0545 if you have questions about
the hike. The trail parking is located
as follows from the 4 way stop on Peavine Rd in Fairfield Glade: Take Peavine Road for 0.5 miles to
Westchester Drive. Go south on Westchester for 3.1 miles. Just past the Dorchester Golf course look for
the sign to turn left toward the "Overlook" on Windsor Drive.
Continue following signs for 0.8 miles and several turns to the overlook
Genesis Project Tour
Tuesday, June 16,
2015 4:00 p.m.
Meet at EcoTravel Plaza Parking lot on
We started this project in October of 2014 and
now that it’s completed, we want to show it off. As this is not on public land, we want to
have this opportunity to show our members and others from the community what
this restoration project looks like.
This was the first project where we used heavy equipment to reshape the
bank and the project has a number of other unique aspects. We’ll meet at the Ecotravel Plaza and then go
across the road to a parking area and walk down along the project area. As the vegetation has grown back well in much
of the area, wear long pants. Call
Dennis at 210-3611 if the weather looks iffy and he can let you know if we’re
going ahead or will postpone.
Saturday, July 11,
2015 9:00 a.m.
Meet at Common Ground
at 8:15 a.m.
This is our eighth
year doing clean-ups at Devil’s Breakfast Table on Daddys Creek. This beautiful and popular spot is located
within the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area.
We start early to avoid the July heat.
We’re always done in less than two hours, sometimes less than an hour,
depending on the amount of trash we find.
Wear long pants for the clean-up work, but you can change into swimming
after in the big swimming hole. Treats
and refreshments are provided along with gloves, bags, etc. Participants earn an OWCA T-shirt. Please call Dennis at 484-9033 and let him
know if you will be participating, but it’s OK to just show up.
Saturday, July 25,
Meadow Park Lake
3 - 8 p.m.
This is our fourth year for
WaterFest and each year it’s gotten bigger and better. Last year, almost a thousand people attended,
with almost 250 people getting out in the water. Our friends at TSRA will be running the
on-water activities, helping people select the boat of their choice, making
sure that they know how to paddle it, and ensuring that everyone has fun and is
safe. Leisure Kraft is again loaning one
of their pontoon boats so that with the city’s pontoon, there are two boats
running motorized tours of the lake.
There will be lots of educational exhibits with the State
Park’s live animals, TWRA’s big fish tank of fish from the lake, the National
Park Service, and others. The
Children’s program will be back again with games and activities for children
off the water. Finally, the music begins
at 5:00 with our favorites Steep Creek and Carrie Hassler each providing their
popular form of music. Of course, there
is food and drinks for sale, but the best thing is everything else is FREE.
As you might
expect, an event like this takes lots of people working together, so we need
more and more volunteers each year. If
you want to be part of the planning or just can give an hour on the day of the
event, we can use your help. June Zettelmeyer
is coordinating volunteers, so give her a call at 788-5022 and she’ll match you
with an activity that you’ll enjoy. Follow the latest developments on WaterFest by visiting our WaterFest website.
Keep it Clean
October 10, 2015
Cumberland Mountain State Park Registration for the Keep it Clean 5K and One Mile Fun Run is now open. You can register on-line through our "store." Register here.
Or you can download the registration form and mail it in.